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Snippet of a Story

Long time no post! Just to prove I haven't dropped off the face of the blogging world, I dug out this excerpt from a story that's still a work-in-progress. (Virtual high five to anyone who can identify the young man in this picture!)


I hadn’t planned to get caught.

I was told this mountain pass wasn’t regularly patrolled. All I had to do was find a safe path to the Romanian border, and on to Palestine. So many are counting on me to save them. So many are counting on me to get them to Eretz Israel.

And I failed.

The border guard takes his time unfolding the map, dragging out my misery. He gives it a long shake and surveys it through narrowed eyes. “Treasonous Zionist activities will not be left unpunished.” His voice is low as he rips my map into shreds. I watch as a gale snatches them into its lively embrace. My path to freedom dances through the wind toward the mountain pass. The bitter irony bites into my skin.

Run. Run toward the scraps of freedom flying through the air. Escape.

I cast a cautious glance at the guard who is enjoying the mess he has created in the sky, and that’s when I make the decision to run. I tear through the two horses, brushing against their warm skin. I don’t stop, even as I hear the whinny of horses and the beating of their hooves as they gain on me in mere seconds. The sight of pine trees bending in the breeze are blocked now by the blur of horses as they cut me off from freedom.

The border guard jumps down, grabs my wrists and locks them into cold iron fetters. He’s shouting furiously in Russian as he lodges his pistol into my back.

Is this the last time I’ll taste the crisp air, see the sunlight spread its long fingers across the fields? The taste of freedom dissipates, blown away to honeymoon with the shreds of paper floating toward Zion.
_______
-Emily

Happenings

via
one

Currently reading The Brothers Karamazov. I thought it was time I jumped into a Dostoevsky novel. Have any of you read it? I'm on page 30 of 776 so I have a long way to go! Also, I'm reading some French Resistance books for reenacting research. So many books to read, so little time!

two


I saw Dunkirk a couple weeks ago and it's so well done. Easily one of my favorite WWII films. Go see it if you have the chance!!


"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
—Winston Churchill


three

This summer has been kinda crazy and finding time to write has been hard. But I did finish two biographies for Pictures for Heroes. Here's an excerpt from one I recently finished. (You can pre-order the book HERE.) 

Shells and shrapnel were raining through the sky. When Henry heard the whistling of a shell, he knew he was safe. It was only when he couldn’t hear them that he was in trouble. Moments later, sharp, hot pain tore through Henry’s hip and he couldn’t move. A piece of shrapnel was lodged in his side. He was breathing hard as shadows fell over the foxhole. Two German soldiers looked down at him, rifles pointed.

“Get out,” they ordered.

Henry struggled to his feet as they pulled him out of the hole, fear racking through his body. “They’re gonna kill me,” he thought to himself. “They’re gonna kill me.”

My next veteran biography is a paratrooper from the 506th PIR, 101st Airborne. I'm so excited to get working on that! 

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My summer playlist:


Free and Untorn - Matthew Mole

Swelling Sea - Tow'rs
Something Just Like This - Chainsmokers and Coldplay
Make This Leap - The Hunts
Valentina - The Hunts
Illuminate - The Hunts
If Then - General Ghost
Not Today - Hillsong United (Basically all of Hillsong United.)
This Too Shall Pass - Mangas Colorado 

five


Royal Vintage Shoes is giving away a $175 gift certificate for their shop! (I'll take a pair of each, thank you.) 



What have you been reading, writing, or researching this summer?

-Emily

Ruhr Pocket Train Battle 2017

I've been all over the place this week—working on an upcoming book talk, writing biographies for Pictures for Heroes, passing out resistance leaflets, and being accused of having vodka in my basket by a German officer. What else is new? Anyway, here are some pictures from last weekend's WWII reenactment which will give some context to the whole vodka thing. 

The Germans had control of the train for the first part of the trip, and our group stirred up some trouble! I made copies of The White Rose leaflets and recruited other reenactors to help pass them out. Although I evaded arrest, I heard that a few spectators were found with leaflets on them and didn't fare as well. 



The German officer started reading The White Rose leaflet out loud, then proceeded to handcuff the poor spectator and his wife! 


My sister portrayed a member of the BDM, the League of German Girls. *cough* TRAITOR*cough*


The leaders of our group. They're so awesome!


The White Rose resistance lives on.

-Emily (AKA. Sophie)

My Grandpa's Best Accomplishment

70 years ago today, two kids from Quebec stood before God and each other and said "I do." They stayed by each other's side no matter what life threw at them. We their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are forever thankful for their example of love and loyalty.

They had a beautiful relationship, evident by my grandpa's words."To win my beautiful bride—that's my best accomplishment. There couldn't be anything better than that, could there?" 

We miss you, Grandma. 


-Emily

Happenings

ONE

A few of my favorite things: Summer rain, my cozy hoodie, lots of coffee, and listening to veteran interviews.


TWO  


Speaking of veterans, I'm super excited to be helping out with Pictures for Heroes! It's a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring our veterans by interviewing and photographing our nation's heroes, to ensure that their bravery and sacrifice is never forgotten. Every story will be compiled into a book. Along with a team of writers, I'm transcribing and writing short biographies! Please consider supporting the project and pre-order your book!


THREE


Welp, I finally finished the Band of Brothers series. I've seen the first few episodes multiple times, but the library always wants it back before I can finish all ten episodes. (What's up with that?!) Reading A Company of Heroes and Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends made it all the more painful because I knew what was going to happen to certain paratroopers. It was SO GOOD AND I CRIED. 


#TRUTH.
FOUR


This is one gem of a book! It's chocked full of first hand accounts of French civilians during the D-Day invasion. It's a perfect research book for reenacting! I think I underlined most of the book.



FIVE

 Some new reenacting items! I'm armed and dangerous. 


What are you currently reading/writing/researching?

-Emily

RESIST | 2nd Edition

I recently released the second edition of Resist with a brand new cover! Rachel Rossano has worked her magic once again. =)

Purchase on Amazon
Add to Goodreads


Es lebe die freiheit!

-Emily

"I Have Never Forgotten Their Names."

Today, on the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, I'm thinking of my friend, Elmer DeLucia who was twenty years old when he stormed Omaha Beach. I've had the honor and privilege to talk with him on multiple occasions, and I'll forever cherish our visits. It's not everyday a D-Day veteran holds your hand and sings, You'll Never Walk Alone! There's so much I could write about him. He fought in five major battles during WWII, Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Rhineland and Central Europe. He was honored with the Presidential Citation for D-Day, three Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, five Bronze Starts, five Major Battle Medals, a Chevalier in the Legion of Honor in France, and a Good Conduct Medal. But today I'm going to focus on his D-Day experiences.



Seventy-three years later, Elmer still remembers the names of three men he trained with, men he last saw when they arrived in France before being separated into different companies—Margarito Frausto of Texas, Lucian Hughes of West Virginia and Warren Knipple of Cincinnati, Ohio.

They were split into four separate companies. Elmer was assigned to A Company in the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion as a sight-man on 4.2 mortars. On June 6th, 1944, Elmer stormed Omaha Beach. The mortar men of the 81st provided the first direct fire support on Omaha that day with A and D being the first companies of the battalion to land.

The craft straightened out into waves and headed for Omaha Beach with all the speed and power they could muster. All the companies were in either the fourth or fifth wave of the assault ... Soon empty LCVPs passed. Seeing the empty craft relieved the strain a bit, for then it was known that the first wave had managed at least to disembark. 

Looking through the slit in the ramp one could see the smoke, wreckage, and carnage of the beach rapidly coming closer. The staccato rattling was soon recognized as machine gun bullets impacting as the craft threaded their way through the various lanes cleared by the shore engineers, but which were often lined with underwater obstacles and mines. Finally, with a last surge of power and a lurch that sent the unprepared hitting against the bulwarks, the craft grounded, and the ramps flew down spilling men, guns, and equipment on to the hell that was the shore of France. Many say now that it was a good thing most were "green" troops, for many a veteran "froze" that day. (Information taken from the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion Unit History.)


Elmer and his friends said "goodbye" and "see you later" as they were separated. He didn't know that he'd never see them again.

"My superior officer said, 'Elmer I have some bad news. It's about those guys you trained with.' I said, 'Which one got it?' and he said, 'Elmer, they all did.' I sat down and cried. After all our time training together in the United States, they were killed. I never got over that ... I have never forgotten their names."

To all our veterans and fallen heroes of D-Day, thank you for your service. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

6.6.44

-Emily